Sunday, November 19, 2006

Is 27 already too old?

Is 27 already too old to win a championship in today's Formula One? Jenson Button will have turned 27 by the start of the 2007 F1 season, and with already 118 Grand Prix starts under his belt and just one (albeit spectacular and well-earned) win to show for it, a lot of people have been doubting if Jenson will ever win a championship.

Much of it, I think, is due to the fact that drivers are getting started much, much earlier these days. And they're getting thrust into the media spotlight like crazy.

There's certainly a lot being said about how young the likes of Nico Rosberg and Robert Kubica are, and it isn't without good reason, given the way they've already performed. At age 20, Rosberg (now 21) became the youngest driver in F1 to set a fastest lap (set during his points-scoring debut at the 2006 Bahrain GP). Kubica, meanwhile, drove to a podium finish at the 2006 Monza GP. Similarly, teener Sebastian Vettel set the fastest times at the Turkish GP practice sessions without any prior F1 or track experience! Add to that the retirement of Schumi, and the possibility of Lewis Hamilton being thrown into the mix (also 21), and these guys are already being tipped as the future of Formula One.

Having started at roughly the same age as these "next gen" racers and racking up 118 races along the way, it certainly does make Jenson's 27 years look old, doesn't it?

But is 27 really too old? I think not.

You've got to remember that those 118 races also mean 118 races worth of experience. That experience is invaluable, and it should speak volumes about the top-level consistency of performance that Jenson has found for himself. Jenson is now entering his prime. The young guns may be fast, but it remains to be seen whether they (and their teams) can be consistent enough to fight for a championship.

A lot of it is also down to the car, and I think the upcoming season is as good as any for Honda and Jenson to finally win it all. Bernie [Ecclestone] can diss Jenson all he wants, but I do believe firmly in Jenson's dedication to testing (the most of anyone last winter), commitment and ability to win a Formula One Driver's Championship. The pieces are in place for Jenson to finally deliver on the promise of his talent; I believe that he can, and that he will win it all this year.

The likes of Rosberg and Kubica may be the future, but this season is Jenson's to take.

Emerson Fittipaldi, Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso may have all won multiple championships before they turned 27, but one of the greatest, the late Ayrton Senna, hadn't even gotten his first until the age of 28.

27 sounds just about right.

(Go Jenson!)


Anonymous said...

Dont forget Nigel & Damon either!!

Great blog. Nice to see you posting on Jenson too. :D

Steph (aka Girl_Racer on the forum lol)

Josh said...

Lol. Thanks Steph. It's nice to see someone reading through my blog.

Yeah, Nigel and Damon too. Both drivers won theirs well into their thirties (proving that you can never be too old).

Of course, we don't want Jenson (and us fans) to wait that long though. Hahaha.

Thanks again!

Clive said...

I agree with you - 2007 could well be Jenson's year. Good blog, by the way - and I'm glad that not everyone has given up on Jenson.

That link to my article on Bernie dissing Jenson doesn't work, however. Try this instead:

Bernie article

Josh said...

Oh yikes. I'm sorry about that. I've fixed it up already. Thanks pointing it out Clive!

And thank you very much for reading through my Jenson blog! Hope you get to read back for more! :)

Clive said...

Have had a good read now - excellent stuff. You're bookmarked, buddy. ;)

Josh said...

Wow! THAAAAAAANKS!! That makes me very, very happy! :) :) :)